The Bomb

by Lennon Zych, age 13
The Bomb Lennon Zych is a seventh grader in New York City who became a voracious reader at an early age. He has written a number of short stories in the genres of dystopia, fantasy, and adventure. Lennon also plays piano and ice hockey.

“I had five minutes to defuse a bomb that would destroy everything. It was located in the left wing of a hospital, but I didn’t have any other information. I was not given a defusal kit. I was only given the resources around me, but they would do just fine.”

Chapter One

 

I had five minutes to defuse a bomb that would destroy everything. It was located in the left wing of a hospital, but I didn’t have any other information. I was not given a defusal kit. I was only given the resources around me, but they would do just fine. I raced down the hallway, visually checking every space possible to place a bomb. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, so I kept going. I ran into a waiting room filled with people in chairs. I looked around but could not see anything suspicious, until I saw a small flicker out of the corner of my eye. I raced to the suspicious spot and looked under the chair occupying the location. A small, black bomb was fastened to the bottom of the seat with tape. I ripped the tape off and grabbed the bomb. The bomb was completely black besides a small, green light that gave off the flicker. I flipped the bomb over to reveal a panel connected by two screws. I scanned the room and spotted a screwdriver on a desk in the corner. I grabbed it and unscrewed the panel to uncover a mess of black wires with a battery underneath. This might be a challenge for most bomb defusers, but I was not most bomb defusers. I separated the wires from each other and singled out the two wires that would disarm the bomb. The first wire connected the battery to the rest of the unit, and the second wire powered the timer. I grabbed a pair of scissors from the desk and cut both wires at the same time. The light on the bomb turned off, and my surroundings morphed into a white simulation room. My commander walked toward me and grinned.

“Congratulations Agent Alpha! You’ve set a new record: one minute and ten seconds.”

I smiled. I knew that I would set a record as I located the bomb, but I didn’t think I completed the trial that fast.

“Thank you, Commander! It’s nothing much. I only want to serve my country!” I replied warmly.

Agent Cayes, a good friend of mine, shook my hand.

“I knew that you would beat the record! I expected nothing less from an agent as talented as you!”

I nodded and smiled.

“Good luck on your test! Even though I make it look easy, take your time. I easily could have failed this trial if I didn’t study hard last night.”

Agent Cayes nodded and walked out of the room. I left the room and entered the elevator. I swiped my ID card, and the elevator took me to the top secret floor.

 

Chapter Two

The top secret floor contained the apartments that every agent lived in. I exited the elevator and walked into a small, white room. The room was completely empty, besides a retina scanner and a keypad. The keypad controlled which room you would arrive in, and the scanner was simply for security. I keyed in my room number, 302, and placed my eye against the scanner.

“Eye approved. Agent Jonathan Alpha,” The scanner deadpanned.

A tube came down from the ceiling and vacuumed me into the complex of tubes. I took a series of lefts and rights and landed in the center of my white apartment. The tube retracted and became flush with the ceiling. I exited my room and entered my white living room. It contained a tv on the wall, a simple sofa facing the tv, and two doorways, one leading to the kitchen, and the other leading to the bathroom. I slept on the sofa, and thus, a bedroom was unnecessary. The bathroom contained a sink, shower, and toilet. The entire room was also white. Noticing a trend? The kitchen contained a refrigerator, microwave, sink, shelves, and stove. The room, and everything in it, was white. White is the theme of many things in my life. The suits we wear are white (when we wear them), and the rooms and furniture we have are white.

The material we use for everything is able to camouflage itself into anything. For example, if our base is infiltrated, we can disguise it to protect our organization. Also, our suits can appear differently to suit our missions. The material is strong enough to be used as walls, and it can be thin and malleable enough to be comfortable to wear. I prefer my room to be white, though. It represents purity and peace to me, and it helps to balance out the stress from my work. Anyway, I sat down on my sofa and turned on the tv. A news program was on, but a more sinister message interrupted it.

“There is a huge bomb in this city. Find it before it’s too late! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!” A masked face said.

Immediately I got a call from my commander.

“Agent, come to the briefing room, immediately!”

I rushed to the teleportation tube and was taken to the elevator. I pressed 13 and began a rapid descent. The door opened with a soft ding, and I rushed into the white room. My commander was at the front of the room, and many other agents sat in front of him. I grabbed a seat in the front and nodded to the commander. He nodded back.

“Agents, we have received word of a criminal who calls himself Boom Boom. As you may know already, he broadcasted a message just a few minutes ago stating that there is a bomb in the city. Each of you will cover a district to maximize efficiency. Find this bomb,” the commander said.

Every agent, already having a preassigned district, left the room except for me.

“What district am I covering?”

“You will cover the district where we think the bomb most likely is since you are our best agent. Go to District 12.”

I nodded and opened a map. District 12 was Times Square, the busiest place in New York, and the easiest place to hide things. I groaned and gathered my bomb materials.

 

Chapter Three  

People pushed past me as I desperately pushed past others. The voices of thousands distracted me as I tried to focus. Times Square was the worst. I needed to search every nook and cranny to find that bomb. I ran to a large statue and poked around. It would be impossible to put a bomb inside the statue, but it could be hidden in the base. I took out a flat, metal prying tool and pried off the metal plate on the base of the statue. I let the plate drop and examined the newly uncovered part of the statue. Nothing out of the ordinary. I bent down to retrieve the metal plate and saw a small crack in one of the tiles beneath me.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out the flat, metal prying tool. I inserted it into the groove in the tile and pushed down. The tile begrudgingly pried loose and revealed a deep hole with a rusty ladder leading down into it. I put away the prying tool and gingerly clambered down the ladder. My feet slipped a couple of times, but I managed to make it all the way down. I pulled out a flashlight and turned it on. I was standing in a huge room, filled with wires and mechanical stuff. A huge timer was mounted on the wall, and it read 5:23. I had enough time, hopefully.

I looked around and spotted the main circuit board. I walked up to it and paused. It had ten wires instead of the normal two. This was highly uncommon and very difficult to deal with. I could rule out four wires that weren’t connected to anything, but the other six were difficult. Upon further inspection, I could rule out four wires that weren’t connected to the timer, but the last two completely stumped me.

One of them connected to each circuit board, and the other one connected to all but one. I quickly glanced at the timer, and my heart started to race. I only had one minute left. I ran to the circuit board in question and examined the back. Fake circuit boards would be slightly yellowy on the back, and sure enough, it was. My training prepared me for things like this. I ran back to the main circuit board and cut the correct wire. The timer turned off, and I sighed. I exited the secret room, making sure to replace the tile, and hailed a taxi. My mission was done.

 

Chapter Four

The crazy man frowned. His plan had failed, and that made him upset. It was supposed to go boom, but it didn’t. Someone had messed it up. He didn’t think anyone would actually find the bomb. He only wanted chaos, death, and destruction. Maybe he should have refrained from announcing his plan to the entire world. They will try to find him now to stop him. His base was deep underground, and he thought nobody would be able to find him. But they can find anyone.

A drop of sweat dripped down his forehead and splattered onto his red jumpsuit. They were on to him. He took off his white mask and contemplated his future. He knew that he would die soon, but he accepted that. Ever since he was a child, he was bullied because of his red hair. His real name was Charlie, but he never cared much for that name. It was burned up in the fire that he set in his school. In his rage, he ran away to live underground. He became unstable and violent, craving destruction and anarchy constantly. Boom Boom, enraged by the memory of his bullied self, grabbed a pack of explosives and began his ascent to the surface. His death was imminent, and he wanted to make one last boom before it was all over.

 

***

“Congratulations again, Agent Alpha! You defused the bomb!” My commander said.

I nodded mutely. I was used to compliments by now. I’ve been exemplary my entire life. I had an innate ability to learn and memorize everything since I was born. Just as I was about to leave, the emergency siren went off.

Warning! Boom Boom is in the streets with explosives. Warning! Boom Boom is in the streets with explosives. The siren repeated.

My commander handed a high quality defusal kit to me and gave instructions.

“We have snipers on the rooftop. Try to reason with Boom Boom and defuse the bomb. I have given you tools that can be used to disarm the bomb at a distance. Be careful, lives are on the line! Do NOT kill him, or we will be forced to eliminate you!”

I hurried to the express elevator and rapidly descended. The doors opened, and I ran outside. A man in a red jumpsuit, with a crazed look in his eyes, stood in the middle of the square. I walked towards him slowly, making sure to be at least 10 feet away.

“Boom Boom.” I said as I circled him carefully, trying to get a glimpse of the bomb. “You don’t have to do this. We can let you walk out of here freely if you just disarm the explosives. Nobody here wants to die.”

Boom Boom’s expression turned wild.

“You’re lying! They’ll kill me!”

I peeked over Boom Boom’s shoulder and saw a single wire. It would be hard to cut the wire without injuring Boom Boom. I hate hurting people. I became a bomb defuser to save lives, not take them. It goes against everything I believe in. Human life is sacred to me. I smoothly slid a small throwing knife out of my wrist and carefully aimed at the wire. Sweat pooled on my forehead as I intently watched Boom Boom, waiting for an opportunity to strike. He turned slightly and I threw the knife, cleanly severing the wire and disabling the bomb. Or so I thought.

“HAHAHAHA!” Boom Boom screamed. “YOU CUT THE WRONG WIRE! IT WAS FAKE!”

I blanched. I had never failed in my life. I was never taught to accept failure. I couldn’t deal with it. My vision turned red, and I threw another throwing knife at Boom Boom’s throat. He gurgled on his own blood, his eyes welling up with tears, and collapsed. I stepped back in shock, realizing the horrible thing that I had just done. A shot rang out in the streets, my demise. My body hit the ground, blood already pouring from my head, and everything went black.

 

 

Chapter Five

I woke up with a headache. My entire body felt numb. I was strapped down to a metal table by heavy leather restraints. I was in a white room, some kind of subterranean lab. I could tell by the test tubes and equipment that was scattered around the room. I bent my chin down to my neck and saw a doorway right in front of me. A man in a white lab coat walked into the room with a filled syringe in hand.

“Who are you?” I asked.

The man didn’t reply, but instead, injected me with the syringe. I felt a weird sensation in my feet and passed out.

I woke up in the same room. This time I was not restrained. As I sat up, my body felt weak, and my vision started to go fuzzy. A masked man walked into the room and stood in front of me. He pulled out a syringe filled with a different liquid than before and tried injected me with it. I drunkenly tried to twist out of the way, but the syringe hit its mark anyway. I wished that the man would go away. Suddenly, he went flying across the room and crashed into the wall. A guard stormed into the room and knocked me out before I could do anything.

 

When I woke up, I was restrained to the table again. Another masked man walked into the room and injected me with a needle. I urged myself to escape the restraints, remembering the last syringe I was given, and the restraints magically snapped in half. The man panicked and tried to run out of the room. I urged him to stop, but the powers seemed to fail. The serum must’ve only been temporary. I assumed that they would continue modifying the serum and injecting it with me, so I didn’t resist as the same guard from before ran into the room and knocked me out again.

This time when I woke up, I was in complete darkness, and a machine was attached to my head. My thoughts were fuzzy, and my coordination was messed up. I could hear metallic footsteps coming from somewhere around me, but I couldn’t tell the direction. I braced myself for the pain of an injection, but no pain ensued. Instead, the metal man did something with the machine on my head. It pressed into my head, and the pain of a thousand fires coursed through my body. The man walked away, his footsteps becoming fainter with every step, and a door slammed shut. My body started to float, and I lashed out with my mind, sending a shockwave of energy through the room. The machine shattered into hundreds of pieces, and light flooded the room. My entire body was glowing, and I felt powerful. Those scientists should have restrained me more. Nothing will stop me from destroying them for the pain that they caused. I focused on the door, which I could now see was in the back of the large room I was in. It went flying off its hinges and hit the back of a wall far away. I flew out of the room and into a huge area filled with scientists and computers. They took one look at me and ran away screaming. I grabbed one and lifted him off the floor.

“WHY WAS I BEING EXPERIMENTED ON? WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE? WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?”

The scientist quivered in my hands and started crying.

“The government wanted to cr-create a s-super soldier. This project is run b-by your com-mander. You’ve been given p-powers. Please don’t hurt me!” The scientist said between tears.

I tossed the scientist to the floor and flew out of the room. The next room was filled with vials and syringes of different liquids. I unleashed a shock wave, not wanting anyone else to suffer the same fate, and destroyed every single serum in the room. The liquid poured out onto the floor and flowed out of the open doorway towards the computer room. The sound of computers being destroyed filled my ears as I ran into an elevator. I pressed the top floor and started the ascent to the surface.

 

Chapter Six

The doors opened into a small room. A lone computer sat in the back on a table. I started to walk past it, but a name caught my eye. My name.

Project #22: Super Soldier. Agent Alpha was transferred to the lab after his faked death on Monday. He was given a sleeping serum to allow the doctors to modify him. He was given a prototype serum on Tuesday and reacted positively. He was given a stronger dose on Wednesday and realized that he would be given a stronger dose each day. On Thursday, he was given a serum to activate his modifications. He destroyed the lab and experimented with some of his powers. Then he found the computer that held documents of him. He explored…

The computer continued to type as I moved, but no one was typing on the keys. They moved on their own. I walked up to the computer and started to explore the documents. They said things about my history and the project. I looked back at the Project #22 file. The computer had typed more, foretelling my death somehow. It said that I would leave the room through a trapdoor and get killed by soldiers that were to ambush me.

“How does this computer know what I’m about to do?” I asked, thinking out loud.

The computer typed, “I can predict the future. I know everything about you. You will die today if you leave this room.”

No, that can’t be true! I won’t die today. I can’t. I could easily use my powers to stop the soldiers. But if the computer said it, then it must be true. It has predicted everything else accurately. But what if I don’t exit through the trapdoor? What if I go through the ceiling? I used my powers to blast a hole through the ceiling, and daylight streamed into the room. I flew out of the hole and immediately heard a shot go off. There were soldiers all around me. They must have known that I would go up. My last thoughts were of my life. If I had not killed Boom Boom, maybe I would still be alive. I plummeted through the air and breathed my last breath as I hit the floor. In the corner of my eye, I saw the computer delete the ending and replace it with something else.

 

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